Star ratings reflect scores of 1 to 5 assigned to the Engine 2 diet in seven categories by nutritionists, specialists in diabetes and heart disease, and other diet experts on a ratings panel assembled by U.S. News. (See our Best Diets methodology.) Experts dealt it mostly lackluster scores, pronouncing it difficult to follow and noting that its nutrition profile leaves much to be desired. “It sounds very gimmicky,” one expert warned. “It may lead to short-term weight loss but because it’s so strict, it probably won’t lead to long-term weight loss.” Below are ratings in all categories and how the experts’ opinions broke down.
Short-Term Weight Loss
The Engine 2 diet received a moderate 3.4 stars. Though it’s not designed as a weight-loss diet, it’s low-fat and vegan, which means it will likely produce weight loss. The diet scored as well or better than many other diets that specifically promise weight loss.
Long-Term Weight Loss
Long-term weight loss can only come from long-term compliance—a challenge experts agreed would be hard to meet. The plan received about 3 stars, which we define as “moderately effective.” “It may lead to short-term weight loss, but because it’s so strict, it’s doubtful it will lead to long-term weight loss,” one expert said.
Easy to Follow
This is where the Engine 2 Diet drew the greatest criticism among our panelists, who lambasted the program for being needlessly restrictive. “The Engine 2 diet is very extreme” and eliminates certain food groups and, thus, nutrients, one expert warned. The plan received a paltry 1.6 stars, suggesting that dieters will have a tough time sticking to it.
The Engine 2 diet landed toward the bottom of the list for nutritional completeness. Experts were concerned about obtaining sufficient vitamins and minerals. The diet earned 2.7 stars, significantly below the average score of 3.4 stars.
Experts handed out a below-average 3.3 out of 5 stars. Vegans often don’t get enough calcium, which can cause weak bones that break easily. And they’re also often low in the n-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, which are important for brain, eye, and heart health. “It has to be followed carefully to meet nutritional adequacy,” one expert said.
Experts were impressed with the diet’s ability to prevent or manage diabetes, and gave it an above-average 3.5 stars. However, one noted that diabetics should keep an eye on protein and carb levels, to make sure they’re appropriate.
For Heart Health
The Engine 2 diet landed near the top of this category, with an impressive 3.9 stars. Research suggests that low-fat, vegan diets can prevent and even reverse heart disease, and this plan is no exception.
Last updated by Rachel Pomerance | January 09, 2013
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